Essay on All the Pretty Horses: It Takes Time

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“Growing up” is a very broad term that is used without a true, consistent definition. In essence, it describes and encompasses themes of coming of age and the loss of innocence as a person moves from child to adult. In many respects, people view this change as a specific, pivotal moment in a person’s life, such as an eighteenth birthday, or the day a person leaves their parents’ house. This idea of having a crucial moment in life, which provides the open door into adulthood, is portrayed in many novels. It is easy to find a death that occurs, or a specific event that causes a character to “grow up” prematurely, but many times, contrary to most beliefs, that exact event is not the turn of the key leading through the doors to maturity. It is …show more content…
As he finally settles down at a decent job, and is even considered of value to the ranch owner, we see him yet again make another adolescent move by becoming involved with the owner’s daughter. Just when he was moving toward maintaining his job like a full-fledged adult, his innocence and naïve nature take over, costing him his job and eventually sending him to prison. Perhaps the last moment of true juvenile behavior comes when John Grady does not make a deal with the prisoner-in-command, and it almost costs himself his life. From here, the tables start to turn and John Grady moves toward his final stretch of losing his innocence and becoming an adult. It is a combination of all these experiences which force John Grady into “growing up.” John Grady experiences “the skills of survival, facing adversity, and finding romance, all set against the backdrop of a land that has not lost the magic of the old West” ("McCarthy, Cormac 1933–" 2374) and by the time he “passed and paled into the darkening land, the world to come” (McCarthy 302) the reader knows that he has realized he must move on, instead of run away, and it is at this moment that we know his innocence is gone and he is going to start a new life on his own as an adult.
Not only does this novel show loss of innocence and coming of age through John Grady, but as the “rider and horse passed on” (McCarthy 302) because there was “nothing for the living

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